Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Burger Juices Galore

29 August 2006-
Val's Burgers~: 2115 Kelly Street in Hayward
Cost: $7.25 (bacon cheeseburger, fries extra)
~ Honorable Mention

Image Source: blogger's own

Image Source: blogger's own

I rolled up to the diner mid-afternoon on a Tuesday and was surprised to see that the parking lot was packed to the max. Inside, most of the seats were taken with the exception of a couple of seats at the counter. I sat at the end of the counter with direct line of sight to the grill, and the mesmerizing bun toasting carousel machine. I've seen bun toasting carousels before, but none as large and sophisticated as the one that towered in front of me. Its apparent that the manufacturer of this highly-advanced piece of equipment has truly deduced the art of bun toasting to a science.

I was also salivating over the burger patties on the flame charbroil grill. I could observe the burger flipping process, and watched first-hand the skill and ease in which the cooks were preparing burgers. I could sense that the staff were real burger professionals. Today, I ordered a Mama Burger, a 1/2 lb. chuck patty with bacon and swiss, grilled "rare", and a side of fries. Val's also serves 1/3 lb. patties and 1 lb. patties.

Between the time my order arrived and the time I finished the photo documentation process; I observed that the patty had morphed and oozed out a substantial amount of burger juices. I don't think I have seen so much juice from a burger before, and admittedly I was a little scared. I decided to take a cross section, in order to dispel any suspicion I had that the patty was still alive. Let's just say, I am thankful that the fries came in a basket and weren't on the plate of burger juice.

Verdict: Val's "rare" Mama's Burger is the juiciest burger I have ever experienced thus far. The meat was really delicious, and the bacon and fixings were also very good. I was a little wary of the bun, which didn't look adequate enough to accommodate the massiveness of the patty. Fortunately, the perfectly toasted bun had enough structural integrity to handle the magnitude of the patty.

I really loved this burger, but it's more of a dive than a gourmet burger restaurant. Highly, highly recommended. Caveat: the side of fries is enormous.

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